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Old 15th December 2005, 04:24 PM   #1
Kensai is offline Kensai  United States
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Question I know there are more full range drivers . . . what about . . .

something other than Loethers or Fostex or Jordan. What about drivers that maybe cost less than $100 a pair or maybe are available at someplace as accessible as PE or <gasp> retail?

An example I've always been interested in: Goldwood 8003/8.http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=290-379 Goldwood 8003/8

I've searched every forum and page I've come across for this one, but it looks like no one has ever used this driver.

How about some car audio drivers? I know that car audio drivers are not generally about hi fi, catering to the high SPL, high power handling, high durability needs of their intended environments, but I see them as having a few potential advantages. First off, I'm a big OB fan, and car audio drivers have specs that are condusive to OB use, even though these specs aren't generally available from the manufacturers (I infer this from the fact that probably all car audio drivers save subwoofers meant for ported enclosures are designed for sealed or IB us in doors, trunks or truck boxes, and drivers that spec out for those uses generally range from good to ideal for OB use). Second, alot of the lower end car audio drivers are bicone design, thus providing alot of inexpensive, true single element full range drivers to play with.

Pioneer makes some nice and nice looking ones (white cones with black whizzers). I've played with the 163Ps which sounded great. A little laid back for my tastes, but the deal breaker was almost nothing under 55-60Hz and a good bit of roll off even above that. They've got the new 1x4P series out now, and I've seen a kit with a pair of 164Ps and whatever the equivalent 6"x9" version is. The 164Ps probably aren't any different than the 163Ps were, but the 6"x9" version might have enough low end to be worthy.

I know other manufacturers make this type of unit, too. Even the Walmart brand, Durabrand, makes a line of them in 3", 4", 5", 6.5" and 6"x9" for no more than $10 each. I feel almost certain that these are junk drivers given the basic no brandness of them, but the primary cones look well built (though I'm not sure what material they are), the magnet structures on the 6.5" and 6"x9" ones ar of the same general size and heft of the ones on the drivers I use (see below), and the surrounds/suspension look solid, so possibly someone might fine good uses for them (they do have questionable looking silver mylar whizzers, though, so I just don't know).

I personally use a pair of Kenwood KFC6949S which are 6"x9" mica cones with paper whizzers which ran me $45 at Best Buy. I run them in an OB config that I build for another $15 or so. Even if you count my electronics (Emu 0404 sound card, PreSonus HP4 headphone amp as preamp and SI T-Amp) into the equation to account for the quality of sound, that's only another $200. I don't know any pair of retail or even direct maker speakers that cost $260 or less that are even close in quality. Step up to $300 and you can get a pair of Magnepan MMG-W, which I have to admit to coveting, sounding ridiculously good for $300 speakers, but even as Magnepan's smallest offering, they are still bigger my current baffles, have no bass at all (response basically drops off a cliff at 100Hz while I'm getting a comfortable 40Hz out of my Kenwoods), and require quite a bit more amplification than I'm using right now (probably requiring another $300 in amplifier to keep up, quality wise not to mention the rest of your source chain).

So, anyone have experience playing with any full range drivers that don't get alot of air time around here. Cheapies? Car drivers? Drivers salvaged out of box speakers someone else built poorly? Even bad experience is welcome here as it keeps others from wasting time and money on drivers that can't be redeemed from their humble origins.

Kensai
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Old 15th December 2005, 04:57 PM   #2
zobsky is offline zobsky  India
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perhaps the pioneer B20 wide range driver ? well under $100 a pair
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Old 15th December 2005, 05:17 PM   #3
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Smile B20

http://melhuish.org/audio/DIYBX16.html

I like the Pioneer B20 and am currently re working the cabinet for another project.

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Old 15th December 2005, 05:31 PM   #4
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Pioneer B20 is mentioned in this Passdiy article. The Goldwood GW8003 is also mentioned, but the Pioneer was much preffered for $4 more.
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Old 15th December 2005, 06:15 PM   #5
jeremym is offline jeremym  Canada
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Keep in mind that a tweeter is pretty much required with the B20, so factor in the additional cost.
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Old 15th December 2005, 07:55 PM   #6
Kensai is offline Kensai  United States
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The B20 seems interesting, though it looks to want to be boxed more. If it absolutely requires a tweeter, though, its kinda out of the running (I'm being a definition snob here, I guess; we are talking full range drivers after all). I wonder how it would respond to a little active EQ (I us the Emu 0404 in my current set up, mostly to tame a few peaks and to fill in the bottom end as much as I can without muddying the sound).

Anyway, I guess I'm hunting for something that will comfortably hit 50Hz or less on the bottom end and 16KHz (the apparent upper end of my hearing) at the top. I'm really loathe to use anything that'll need a sub which is a big reason why I haven't just bought a pair of MMG-Ws and put paid to the whole situation. I'd need to build a stereo pair of subs to mate to them, even if they were just a pair of wimpy 8"ers; there goes at least another $200, and we're pushing $800 now for upgrading. If I'm going to just blow a bunch of cash on new speaks and attendant electronics, I'd want to save up $1200-$1500 for a pair of MG1.6s and a nice Crown XLS amp to drive them. Until that magical day, I'll have to be satisfied with pocket change expenditures and experimentation.

What other fun things have you guys played with?

Kensai
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Old 15th December 2005, 08:15 PM   #7
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As for the B20's... i am currently building a new cab for them where the B20 is mounted high towards the top of the cabinet. This driver sounds dull if it's not pointed right at you. Off axis these are not 'full range' drivers IMO.

As for adding a tweeter... this is cheating but... IMO the B20 needs a tweeter to sound it's best. Crossover can be anywhere between 2khz - 22khz... this is a pretty flexible driver. But for my current project i am mounting the tweeter on the back with a simple cap and L-pad. The piezo tweeter cost about $1.50 at parts express.

With tweeter on back (hopefully this will sound good) it looks like a single 'full range' driver. The tweeter cost is minimal and you will get close to 50hz... maybe -10 or so at 50hz in my design (my guess). You also stay in budget. I think it's ok to cheat a little at this price point.

Last night i looked at my B20 and thought it looked so old compared to the new TB Bamboo.... which is also another interesting 'full range' driver to consider but it's twice the price of the B20 and doesn't go as deep... tweeter optional.

I look forward to comaring these two speakers.

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Godzilla
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Old 15th December 2005, 08:53 PM   #8
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it seems to me to be asking a lot of a smaller full ranger to fulfill bass needs on an OB. may will have some bass, but will it be enough?

perhaps some sort of guitar drivers could work. i know some use large coaxial drivers with luck. though, they come at a price.

i'd think you would have better luck worrying about he mids and such, then picking up a knight woofer for the bass end of things, as they come really cheap. just know that OB bass needs room to breathe.

there are vintage drivers as well. many of the older consoles had open backed speakers and drivers to match. i have some older drivers from that type of set up. nice, but really haven't spent much time with them.

anyway, lots of options. but i have to wonder if cheap car speakers really offer all that much. then again, if you're enjoying them, there must be something to it. then again, compared to a decent full ranger, i'd have to wonder what you'd think.
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Old 15th December 2005, 08:57 PM   #9
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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You might consider the $5 Apexjr ribbon tweeter with just a cap for crossover on the B20.

Going up to the $260 a pair range, you might really want to give Visaton B200s a look. No need for elaborate electronics here, and T-Amp will power them. With the right baffles they can meet your bass requirements.
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Old 15th December 2005, 09:40 PM   #10
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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I've recently entered the world of full range drivers and have become familiar with the popular drivers through this and the full range driver forum. After browsing through the Fostex line at Madisound I remembered seeing a driver a while back that looked similar to the Fostex FE series drivers. Low and behold I found the pair of drivers I was looking for - they were the front door speakers from a Subaru Impreza (also made in Japan ). Their overall diameter is about 6 inches, with the cone being about 4.25 inches in diameter. The markings on the back of the driver indicate that it's 4ohms, can handle 30W max, was made in Japan, and has FE040 in the numbers on the back plate - definitely made by Fostex.

They sounded kinda blah in the car from what I remember, and don't seem to have very good high frequency response, but they do have decent bass capability. I'm sure you could snag a pair of these drivers for cheap on Subaru car forums where owners replaced the factory speakers. Maybe other Japanese car makes use Fostex drivers too?
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